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Letters: Myles, Johnston respond to Simonson on Edison

Myles still supports Edison high school

Seems state Rep. Erik Simonson has questions about the proposed Edison charter school in Duluth. (“New Edison high school raises question,” June 7 Budgeteer.) Perhaps he should get answers from the parents of the thousands of students who have successfully attended the Duluth Edison Schools over the last 18 years.

He should get answers from parents who have children on waiting lists in every grade, hoping their children can attend Edison schools; from elementary and middle school parents who can’t wait to have their hopes for a high school answered; from the state Department of Education which has repeatedly given the Duluth Edison Schools awards for academic excellence.

Does he really think an elected school board is a selling point in Duluth after all the bickering and lawsuits, let alone the largest school building project in the history of the state without voter approval, $350 million with interest?

The actual cost per student at Edison is miniscule for Duluth taxpayers because all costs are paid by all Minnesota taxpayers. Duluth taxpayers actually save money on every student that attends Edison. And yes, this is America, where we demand choice in every facet of our lives and finally we have some choice in public education.

Because it is America, we will not be running Kwik Trip out of town because they have taken business from other stations. Other stations will have to improve or go out of business under the free enterprise system. And finally, it’s about what is good for children and their futures, not adults and a protected monopoly.

Mark Myles

Duluth

Myles was superintendent of Duluth Schools 1994 -1998 and spearheaded the creation of Edison Charter schools here.

Johnston sees trouble ahead with Edison

Thank you, Rep. Simonson for bringing up this issue: The building of an Edison high school will be very bad for our district.

I am not sure if we can change the course that Edison has embarked on. The building of the Edison new middle school several years ago has already had serious ramifications on ISD 709's enrollment.

Two years ago, Edison announced their intention of building a high school. During the last election and at many meetings since, board member Harry Welty and I have repeated that Edison building a high school will have very serious financial ramifications for the future of ISD 709.

Member Welty and I have long advocated that we, as a board, meet with the Edison board, try to negotiate some course that would benefit both the schools and attempt to convince Edison not to build a high school. The superintendent and the rest of the board refused to even talk about it and continue to deny the potential impact to us.

Now we are at a very precarious spot. We lost another 300 students just this year and then you add the serious future financial problems that we are facing.

We as a board and the administration must deal with this issue head-on and we must talk directly with the Edison schools. Erik's wise column is a start in that direction.

Art Johnston

Duluth

Art Johnston is a member of the Duluth School Board.

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